Bringing Down College Costs
As students return to campus, the rising cost of higher education in America continues to pose serious challenges to millions of middle-class families, who are being forced to take out higher loan amounts to pay for tuition, fees, textbooks and housing. In Washington state alone, 56 percent of graduates leave their four-year university with student debt averaging $23,000. I remain committed to bringing down college costs and ensuring everyone has access to a quality college education.
That’s why I am fighting to lower student loan interest rates, modernize our tax code to support employer contributions to loan repayment and lower the cost of college textbooks.
Just last week, I reintroduced the bipartisan E-BOOK Act to help college students save money on textbooks by encouraging the use of low-cost or free digital course materials in higher education. I’ve also helped introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, a bill that would allow students and families with undergraduate student debt to lower their interest rates. More than 450,000 Washingtonians would benefit from student loan refinancing under this bill, along with millions more students nationwide.
And earlier this year, I introduced the Higher Education Loan Payments (HELP) for Students and Parents Act with Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), bipartisan legislation intended to modernize how the tax code treats employer contributions toward student loan repayment. It would create an incentive for more employers to offer benefits like student loan repayment and matching contributions to college savings plans.
Congress needs to work toward as many effective solutions as possible to make a college degree more affordable for all Americans – and many of these ideas are bipartisan. I believe these bills are significant steps in the right direction and I will continue to fight for affordable education for all.
As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on social media. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the VA, IRS or Department of Education, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.